Tuesday, October 28, 2008

the dreaded chicken and dinner for two

I have been dreading my poultry fabrication class since I started culinary school. Something about chicken really irks me. I'm very reluctant to order it in restaurants, I don't cook it much at home and I'm just not a big fan of it.

So....last night was poultry fab! Haha, it really wasn't that bad. We started off by learning how to fab the whole chicken into eight pieces...I got to break the backbone...then we used all eight pieces for our dishes of the night. We split into teams (as usual) and prepared:

Braised bone-in, skin-on chicken breast
Duchess potatoes

Poached chicken tarragon with steamed rice

Braised chicken thighs with curry vegetables, toasted almonds and steamed rice

Fried chicken wings with gravy
Salad of our choice

I was in charge of the fried chicken with gravy and the salad.

For the salad, I decided on a spinach salad with red onion, crumbled bacon, bleu cheese and candied orange peel with an orange vinaigrette (orange juice, lemon juice, orange zest, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper)

I dredged the fried chicken in buttermilk and seasoned flour then pan-fried it. After about 10 minutes frying on both sides, I finished it in the oven. Our team did really well this week...much better than meat fabrication. Maybe chickens aren't so bad after all...

Sunday night I went on a shopping rampage at Central Market...probably due to my depression of the weekend ending and my boyfriend flying back to Nashville. I wouldn't say it was compulsive shopping, but I was definitely just picking up what looked good.
Tonight I made dinner for my roommate and I. The menu was:

Brussel sprouts sauteed in a pecan butter
Blanch the brussel sprouts in boiling salted water for 4-5 minutes then transfer to an ice bath. Set aside.
Chop pecans and toast in a dry pan for a few minutes.
Add a few tablespoons of butter to the pecans and melt. Add brussel sprouts, salt and pepper if desired.
Saute to desired texture.

Roasted butternut squash with crispy sage
Half a butternut squash and scoop seeds out.
Cut inards into uniform chunks and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Drizzle with olive oil, a couple tablespoons of brown sugar, sea salt and chiffonade sage.
Roast at 350, turning often, for about 20 minutes.
Garnish with leftover sage.

Grilled ginger-garlic flank steak with caramelized shallots
I seasoned my flank steak with salt and marinated it with a ginger-garlic sauce from Central Market- so easy .
Heat your grill pan at medium-high heat. When water sizzles on the pan, add some olive oil and your steak.
Cook to desired doneness rotating at 45 degrees for hatch marks. I cooked mine at medium rare, about 6 minutes on each side.
When steak is cooked, transfer to a plate and let rest. In the same pan, add olive oil, white wine and sliced shallots to create a pan sauce. When meat has rested, slice against the grain and garnish with sauteed shallots.

CM wheat rolls

The finished product is to the right. A culinary school friend of mine suggested I take pictures of everything I cook for my blog...great idea! Happy eating everyone!


sammyss said...

I just love your blog and thank you very much for the recipes. Use your culinary school connections to get some restaurant recipes and share them with us. Did I tell you that I lived in Texas like you? Maybe we could have dinner some time. Think about it.

Unknown said...

Very nice picture. I liked the presentation as well.